Use of foam on class A fire
What is class A foam made of?
Class A foams are mainly made of synthetic surfactants. These surfactants are selected for their 2 main properties:
- Wetting property: surfactant lowers the surface tension of water which help water to penetrate faster into the solids. It will cool down solids and maintain its temperature under the pyrolysis temperature (when solid ignites).
- Foaming property: surfactant forms bubbles which give a foam blanket. This stable foam blanket clings to surfaces and remains long lastly above the fuel. It forms a protective barrier which block oxygen supply and isolates flammable oxygen vapours from the air. It also provides long cooling effect. It results in preventing from reignition.
BIOEX laboratory team selected biodegradable surfactants and chose them for their efficiency. BIOEX firefighting foam manufacturer offer environmentally friendly PFAS-free class A foams for sale.
Do I use foam on a class A fire?
Water has long been a universal agent for fire suppression but is not necessarily the best choice for all cases and certain classes of fires.
Using water only requires more time and more resources to achieve same result of water and class A agent.
Using class A foam, also called wetting and foaming agent, is one of the best options when fighting against class A fires.
Foam is used to fight class A fires such as:
- Solid combustibles
- Structural fire solution
- Plastic plant fire
- Wildland fire
- Waste treatment plant fire
Thanks to its 2 properties (wetting and foaming capacities), the solution is enabled to penetrate burning fuels much faster and more efficiently. Class A foams really help to extinguish faster and prevent from reignition.
Class A foams typically runs at 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.5% or 1%. The percentage is related to the foam manufacturer recommendations and the size and type of fire, as well as the foam equipment used.
Many class A foams are environmentally-friendly and biodegradable when used in appropriate quantities.
Other solution such as AFFF, AFFF-AR, ABC powder are not recommended solution to fight class A fires. For example, ABC powder has no cooling action, it will suit only for small fire departure.
Around the world, fire departments are confident using BIOEX foams for fighting class A fires.
What are the benefits of class A foams?
On the contrary to other options, class A foams act on the 3 aspects of the fire triangle:
- Cool down the fuel and form a protective barrier on it (foam blanket)
- Suppress the oxygen supply
- Reduce the heat
Fighting class A fire with class A foam concentrate results in faster extinguishment and avoiding reignition.
Use class A foam is more efficient compared to apply water only. Firefighters using class A additives will save precious amount water, human resources and foam equipment mobilized. Consequently, they will have more resources to fight other fires.
Moreover, class A foam blanket trap toxic particles contained in the smoke. Firefighters are less exposed to toxic particles.
In prevention, class A fire foams could be used for wet line application. The application of a wide coat of class A foam, during a wildland fire for example, increases solid moisture content, providing a protective barrier to oncoming fire and preventing solids from ignition.
Class A foams are approved by international standards such as EN1568, CEREN, NFPA and the US Forest service.
Application of BIOFOR class A foam on tyre fire, compared to plain water only
BIOEX provides a wide range of class A foam concentrates such as class A foam dedicated to wildland fires, multipurpose wetting and foaming agent and fluorine-free class A/B foams. Contact us to know where to find and buy BIOEX class A foams!
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